Okay, everyone! Here are the results that I’m sure you all have been waiting for. A couple weeks ago, we made a post about wanting to help make an impact in the book community by providing a book buying/lending service for people to submit requests through.
This is still in the very early stages, but we want to share results with you about what we found from doing this!
Overall, we got 150 responses. We left some questions as optional but most were required. However, most everyone answered the optional questions, too. Remember that all of this is anonymous, so there is no worries about identifying yourself.
Always the most boring section, right? This’ll be quick, though.
Again, boring. That’s why we’re going to sum it up really, really quick.
The only required questions were age and location. We just wanted to know those questions because that’s kind of important. We found, that most of our people were from North America. The second most was Europe, followed by Asia, South America, Australia, and Africa. We did get some write in answers for India, the UK, and New Zealand. But, obviously, we were able to reach more people in North America and Europe.
Age was another interesting one. Most people were 18-24. No one was over 65.
There was one person questioning why we were asking about sexual orientation, gender, and race/ethnicity. All those were left optional for a reason. So you didn’t have to share that but we were just interested in kind of seeing those things. The pie charts are included above, but we won’t be going into depth about them. Only, to that one person, we were curious and those are typical inclusions in demographic questions on surveys that Caidyn has created to gather data before.
Book Resource Availability
No fancy graphs for this! Too hard to figure out how to make, tbh.
Out of all the resources available to people, most people said bookstores. The second most was e-book, followed by libraries. We had some write-ins but we won’t go into detail about them.
As for resources not available for people, e-ARCS was the largest category. Now, we can’t help you get e-ARCs, but it was interesting to see. After that, lending from friends was the one people don’t have access to. Then, there was the library as the third.
We are Americans, but we know that libraries in other countries are very different. They might only have governmental documents or journals or things like that. Not fiction, basically. And that limits the access to books people can read. That’s another reason why we want to start this. Give people access to books they have no other way to get.
Options You Would Like
Language: Most people said English, but there were a lot of other ones. Spanish had a lot. Then, German, French, Italian, etc. There were also a lot of ones that are very much minority here in America with languages you see for translations; Urdu, Punjab, Arabic, Hindi, Maori, Braille, etc. We would do our best to get books in other languages, but they’re also (sadly) more expensive or not there at all.
Genre: Predominantly YA. After that (respectively) fantasy, LGBTQIA+, sci-fi, mystery/horror/thriller, historical fiction, and nonfiction. We also had some write-ins for romance, middle-grade/children’s, and general fiction. Again, I’m rather sure that we would be able to have all those genres as we are fulfilling your requests.
Return or keep:
Most people would like both options, which we would do! We also had write-ins for “it depends” so we counted it with both or “either way” or “passing it on after reading”. Which we like that option since it would just mean contacting you with the name of the person to send it on to!
As for the people who just wrote in about helping us with donations and not requesting themselves, thank you so much.
We also had one person point out that returning books defeats the purpose of helping disadvantaged people. And we totally agree there. That’s a great point. That’s why we would want you to keep it if you don’t have the means to send it back to us or onto a next person, whether or not you loved or hated the book.
Admittedly, these were the ones we were really interested in seeing. Because they were the heart of the matter. Would you use this? Would you help us financially? Would you give us your books? Do you have any questions/comments for us?
And… Obviously, it’s a yes!
For the people who said maybe (and don’t mind making themselves un-anonymous) why is that? Is it because you’re not sure about how we would do it or how it would work? Is it because you’re not sure if we would have the books you want? Is it for some other reason? Let us know! We want to know how to make it so you would use it.
To the people who put something like they wouldn’t use it but want to help us make this a reality, thank you so much! If you put that, feel free to reach out to us via our contact page. Because we would love to talk to you and find out more information!
This is an important one to us. We understand the maybes and no’s — you’re not sure about where it would go, you don’t have enough money, you’re a student, etc — and we get it. Caidyn is a student himself and can only work part-time because of that. So, we understand it. Just that we can’t finance it all on our own, so we would need some kind of monetary help.
If you said yes, feel free to reach out to us! We’re on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, or you can contact us through the blog. We have a joint email for this and we’ll get to it as quickly as possible.
We’re still not sure about what we would use to get financial donations, but there are a lot of options. GoFundMe, Ko-Fi, Paypal, Patreon, etc. We just need to set something up after we decide which is the best way to go. This is another thing still in the works!
Another one that made us smile! To those who said maybe or talked about being a student, we understand it completely. Life circumstances come up.
The yes’s, yay! Thank you. There were some questions asked about that, which we’ll go into in a second, but great! We currently have a form in the work for book donations, but if you have any questions about that before we make them public, feel free to ask. Someone else might have asked your question, so we’ll be addressing them right about now.
Most people had none and wrote as much in there. But we did get a few.
- This sounds a lot like a site that was around a few years ago, which I can’t remember the name of, but have you looked at other sites already out there? Swaptree, paperbackswap, bookmooch, etc.?
We haven’t exactly looked because we’ve never heard of anything like this before. The most we’ve heard is about friends lending books to each other and we wanted to expand it. But, if you know of other services, let us know!
What we want to make clear is that even if there are other sites out there, we want to go forward with our own. Obviously there are Twitter threads and the #bookish wish on there, but that’s not always reliable. Some people do book trades and, well, the other person doesn’t follow through. So, we want to create a reliable system for this and we will move ahead with it.
- If you do this, how do you plan on dealing with shipping costs or keeping people accountable?
Shipping costs: We will be paying for the shipping or if other people want to ship books to people, they would be covering it themselves. Again, we have forms in the works right now for book requests, and donations.
As for holding people accountable, this isn’t exactly something we can do easily. While we made this survey, that is a question Caidyn brought up with Chantel. And, what we found, was that we didn’t exactly have a good answer for how to monitor/handle that.
We feel really uncomfortable making this about money and location in the world. We throw out the word need a lot, but it’s also about access. In our own backyard of America, there are conservatives who want to ban LGBTQ+ or #ownvoices POC books. If someone wants a free book because they can’t get it for whatever reason, that’s fine by us. So long as they’re respectful, they can use the service.
- What is the service, where would it be available?
Ideally, everywhere. However, we realize that this is starting from the beginning so, well, this isn’t going to be a reality at first.
- I like this idea a lot. Could you donate any book, like a favorite that you want everyone to have a chance to read or only titles that are requested? I also like giving people the option of keeping the book if it’s an all time favorite and returning the rest for someone else to get to read. Loved the survey; love the idea! Great job!
First of all, thank you for your kind words! Second, yes, any book can be donated. On the form, we’re going to have a section where you can put what books you want to give, then we’ll be in contact with you to say what we’d like and where to send it.
But, yes, any book can be donated and we’ll be in contact about what it is we’d really love. (Right now, we’ll be taking most of everything to build up a list of what we have!)
- I would like to see a post on your blog with further details about how you plan to run the program and how it will be determined who is most in need of books.
- I am an author, too, concerned about stealing (it is appalling how comfortably people dismiss the years of work writers often put into their stories) but do share my books broadly now with reviewers and promoters. I would want to have a better understanding of how your program works before participating.
As of right now, we’re still developing a plan. We have a rough idea about forms to fill out and how we’ll handle the requests. I don’t think that there’s any way to determine those things without asking about how much money they make and on and on.
We just want books to be accessible for everyone while diminishing book pirating. It’s not cool or okay, so this is our way to try and help stop it so authors don’t have to worry about those things.
- How did you come up with this survey
Caidyn sat down knowing Chantel’s rough vision and came up with the questions. Then we spent four. hours. going over it and fine-tuning the questions/possible answers/possible ways to measure it.
Caidyn has taken multiple research classes, too. He could talk about this for ages.
But, basically, we identified things we wanted to know about our audience, figured out the best way to ask the question, and then published the survey.
- Sign me the f up
Caidyn knows who did this one. Because he sent them a link to the survey. But we wanted to include this one because it made us laugh.
- This sounds like a lovely idea, but if I’m donating, I’d like to be sure that the books are only going to people specifically in countries that don’t offer options for people to get new releases.
Thank you for this concern, however, we’re not sure how books are released in countries — and if you have more details, do contact us! — and if you donate books to us, they’re out of your hands. We don’t want to have stacks of books that we have to say are unavailable for whatever reason. If you want to be sure your books go to a place in need, there are many great charities out there.
What are we doing in the meantime?
- We’re going to finish cementing an initial idea (which might change a lot once we actually start doing this).
- Finish the forms we have started to release them into the wild and get this going.
- Edit those forms if there’s an issue that comes up.
- Talk with all of you about this!
Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments! If you want to donate before the forms are released, let us know! We’d like to have some books already listed that we have for people to ask for.
If you’re international and once the forms are up, please, please don’t be afraid to request! We know the shipping is high, but we want to give you books too and help you all out as well, especially since access can be harder overseas compare to America.
We realize this is a really long post and if you read all of it (or just read the parts you were curious about) thank you! We wouldn’t be able to do this without your support, so thank you so much for spreading this and helping us make this a reality!